In sharing the IUPUI Report to the Community on February 27, I reflected on the many hands that made a 1960s dream become the reality of a vibrant campus—made up of more than 20 schools with more than 30,000 students that awarded over 6,000 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in 2013. The metaphor that captures the change over the past 45 years is changing vehicles while flying—we began flying a single-engine propeller fighter and are today flying a spaceship at warp speed!
In 1969 most of our buildings were definitely from the propeller plane era. Today we have spectacular 21st century buildings: IUPUI Campus Center, Science & Engineering Laboratory Building, Joseph Walther Hall and Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute. Our faculty, staff and partners have transformed research, learning and engagement in these 45 years—with new treatments, new specialties and disciplines, new learning spaces, service learning, learning assessment, the principles of undergraduate learning and more.
These transformations are actively supported by our community—including the City-County Council and mayors from Richard Lugar through our current Mayor Greg Ballard. The passing of Indianapolis legend Beurt SerVaas, on February 2, at 94, reminds us of the importance of community leaders. As president of the City-County Council for 27 years, Beurt was vital to our “taking off.” So I was pleased that his funeral service celebrated his commitment to IUPUI and Indianapolis.
These transformations are accomplished as the campus stretches to reach our goals—particularly the doubling goals—doubling the number of bachelor’s degrees, doubling externally funded research, doubling our community engagement and doubling our commitment to diversity.
I’m very pleased to report that in the 2012-13 academic year, we awarded 3,670 bachelor’s degrees. That is 1,458 more than our baseline year (2001-02). We are up 66 percent! Think of 1,400 more graduates—each a person whose life is changed by completing their degree.
This year, I can report that our externally funded research has reached $350 million, an increase of 50 percent from the baseline; however, that total is down from the two previous years. I am very concerned that the federal research budget has not grown in recent years. My thanks to our colleagues who are working so hard to be successful in such a competitive environment.
Our students continue to demonstrate an amazing commitment to community engagement. This past year 8,711 enrolled in service learning courses. The number has quadrupled since 2001-02!
Our annual diversity report includes multiple measures. This year I emphasized two points: first, our entering undergraduate class is both the largest (3,796) and most diverse ever and, second, we are increasing the number of degrees awarded to minority students.
I could not review the year without celebrating the successful completion of the IUPUI IMPACT campaign. With the support of 99,577 donors, we completed our campaign early—at $1.395 billion. Generous gifts launched the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, named the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law-Indianapolis, launched the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, launched the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute, named the IU Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center, and more. Thanks to every donor—you have changed the campus.
But there is more to do. In 2012, I asked Executive Vice Chancellor Nasser Paydar to lead our strategic planning. The plan is based on the imagination and aspirations of hundreds of community stakeholders, faculty, staff and students gathered from public conversations, community-based reports and task forces studying the most pressing issues facing our region.
“Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond: IUPUI’s Strategic Plan” embraces the distinctiveness of IUPUI’s programs, location, students, faculty and staff. It builds on IUPUI’s strengths and honors its past investments, while aiming to accomplish much more in the future. It is organized around three key priorities: supporting the success of our students, advancing health and life sciences, and contributing to the well-being of people in Indianapolis, the region, the state and beyond. The plan sets 10 initiatives for advancing and transforming IUPUI:
- Promote undergraduate student learning and success
- Optimize enrollment management
- Increase capacity for graduate education
- Transform online education
- Leverage strengths in health and life sciences
- Accelerate innovation and discovery
- Deepen commitment to community engagement
- Strengthen internationalization efforts
- Promote a healthy, sustainable and inclusive campus
- Develop faculty and staff
My thanks go out to all of you. Without you, it would be impossible to meet the needs of our community, state and beyond. Together we have the vision and commitment to increase our contributions at an increasing rate.